Monday 19 January 2009

The Cardinal's Hat

Now we all know that St John Fisher was made a Cardinal just before being executed and Wikipedia fills in a few gaps for me. That's before he was executed by Henry 'I'm not a doctrinaire reformer, I just want a male heir and lots of land, so sign this oath and give me you monastery' VIII.

But what of the hat? Was it dispatched? Wiki says Henry (see above)VIII would not allow it into England, but did it get to a Channel port? News that St JF had been made a Cardinal must have reached London pronto, because that was the point. For who would execute a Cardinal?

Also, according to wiki, Henry VIII was in a hurry to avoid the Feast of St John the Baptist for an execution, because the population of London was not happy about what was happening.

A few years ago I saw the play 'Thomas More' by Shakespeare and friends, written several decades after the events, but not performed at the time, or maybe just not publically. It gave London a completely different atmosphere ( like a funny warm Catholic one rather than one where cyclists swear at you when you cross a road on a green light,) showed St Thomas More punning away in one of those 'plays within a play' and also how much St John Fisher was thought of.

The programme notes went on about prisoners of conscience etc and never mentioned that Sir Thomas More was canonised in 1935 or made Patron Saint of Politicians and Statesmen in 2000.

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